Intel OpenGL vs. Vulkan Linux Benchmarks - Mesa Git + Linux 4.9

Written by Michael Larabel in Intel on 19 October 2016 at 08:44 AM EDT. Add A Comment
With having delivered a number of RADV Radeon Vulkan benchmarks recently, time to turn the tables to see how the Intel Vulkan driver stack is comparing to its i965 classic Mesa DRI driver. Dota 2 benchmarks up today under Ubuntu 16.10 while using Mesa 12.10-dev and Linux 4.9.

Ubuntu 16.10 doesn't ship with any Vulkan support out-of-the-box but it can be easily enabled. So before upgrading the Ubuntu 16.10 Yakkety Yak stack I first installed the mesa-vulkan-drivers and tested its stock performance (Mesa 12.0.3 + Linux 4.8). Following that I used the Padoka PPA to get the latest Mesa 12.1-dev Git code as of this week plus other updated user-space components. Lastly, the third run was using the updated Mesa stack while switching to the Linux 4.9 Git kernel as of yesterday.
Intel Fresh Vulkan Ubuntu 16.10 Fun

All benchmarks, of course, were done with the Phoronix Test Suite benchmarking software.
Intel Fresh Vulkan Ubuntu 16.10 Fun

Even at a mere 800x600 resolution, the OpenGL Dota 2 Linux performance was a few frames faster than under the Vulkan renderer... For both graphics APIs, the performance does seem to increase a bit with Linux 4.9.
Intel Fresh Vulkan Ubuntu 16.10 Fun

As the resolution increased, the Intel OpenGL driver continued running faster than the ANV Vulkan driver.
Intel Fresh Vulkan Ubuntu 16.10 Fun

At 1080p, the Intel OpenGL Mesa driver remained faster than its Vulkan driver even with Mesa and Linux 4.9 Git.
Intel Fresh Vulkan Ubuntu 16.10 Fun

Intel Fresh Vulkan Ubuntu 16.10 Fun

Running some CPU usage tests, the results were close to the same between the renderers but if anything the Intel Vulkan driver is consuming slightly more of the CPU. Like the RADV driver, the Intel Vulkan driver has more maturing still to do.
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Michael Larabel

Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via

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